Three months ago, I started on a journey that has been a complete 180 from everything that I’ve known professionally: finally scratching that entrepreneur itch and starting my own consulting business. Going from the world’s largest PR agency, to a fortune 100 company to all of a sudden being totally on my own has been a transition to say the very least.
Whether you want to test the waters in building a business, or jump in head first, here are 5 things that I have learned in my first 90 days of building my own business full time:
1. Use your time wisely.
One of the biggest things I have learned is the importance of time management and how to approach it.
Schedule your time in blocks based on your priorities and fiercely protect it. Things that you don’t expect always come up and some of those can zap your energy and creativity in a heartbeat. I spend a chunk of time on Sunday planning the week and then a little bit of time every night planning out the next day to set up a realistic way to achieve what I must get done.
2. Don’t work 24/7.
I made this mistake at first. Owning your own business means there is always work to be done. It’s almost like that feeling of being in school with homework always hanging over your head.
Soon, I felt drained, uninspired and like I had made a huge mistake. Once I started cutting myself some slack and scheduling time to hangout and play, more things started happening in my business. Your time off is just as important as your time at the computer to inspire new ideas and new thinking.
3. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
I am on week 3 of having an amazing virtual assistant, Ric. We spend time every week prioritizing how he can help grow the business. I selected Ric because his priorities align with mine, and he is strong where I am weak. Also, simply having the knowledge that things are getting done is so freeing.
You may be saying to yourself that you don’t have the money yet to hire someone – do it anyways. This has hands down been the number one thing to drive the business forward because it frees me up to do the work that only I can do.
4. Get a business coach.
Having someone with outside perspective is a total game changer. This person is also an accountability partner that helps map out what is important. Being on your own can be isolating especially when you are making the transition from having an incredible boss. My business coach is my new boss – helping to hold me accountable and set my course fully understanding my priorities.
5. Spend time every day making yourself better.
When I got in a major funk about 8 weeks in, this is what brought me out of it. Spending some time every morning in meditation, reading and exercising got my brain to a much more productive place. We can be our own worst enemies so make sure you are filling your brain with info that will propel you forward.
Being entrepreneur certainly is not for the faint of heart, but it also isn’t about the 24/7 hustle that you hear about. If you’re planful and are clear on your vision, you can work backwards to build the life you so desperately crave.
I am starting to coach a couple of clients just starting out and I would love to help you too. Shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.